Request to take immediate actions to mobilise CRII & EU Funds to guarantee the continuity of care and support services in Europe during COVID-19 pandemic

To the Attention of

President of the European Council Charles Michel

President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen

Copy:

Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli

Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira

 

Dear President of the European Council Charles Michel

Dear President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen,

Multiple international organisations, such as the World Health Organisation, the United Nations and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the European Disability Forum and the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) have highlighted the threat to the human rights of persons with disabilities and other persons with support needs due to COVID-19, in particular due to difficulties in accessing care and support services.

The closure of thousands of care and support services across Europe impacts the living conditions of millions of persons with disabilities in Europe who benefit directly from care and support services, their families and caregivers, as well as the 11 million professionals who work in these services who are at risk of losing their jobs.

The primary reason for the closing of many care and support services - often by not-for-profit and user-led organisations - is the lack of guaranteed funding by public authorities, including in the use of EU funds such as the European Social Fund. Due to the pandemic, many services have swiftly adapted to ensure care and support within the current circumstances and rules (social distancing, etc.). The fact that this adaptation was not foreseen in their pre-crisis contracts with authorities (and authorities are not providing flexibility) is leading to uncertainty and lack of access to the needed funding; thus putting at risk the continuity of care and support services.

As such, we call on the European Commission to take new actions to mobilise essential investments and resources to guarantee the continuity of care and support services, in line with the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII and CRII +) must therefore include specific guidance to help Member States ensure such resources, including the European Social Fund, which are used to support persons with disabilities and other persons with support needs.

We also recommend targeted efforts to ensure that both front-line professionals in care and support and the users they support have access to personal protective equipment thus enabling them to work safely.

We thank you in advance for your consideration

Signatories

  • MEP Abir Al-Sahlani (Renew/Sweden)
  • MEP Alex Agius Saliba (S&D/Malta)
  • MEP Alfred Sant (S&D/Malta)
  • MEP Alice Kuhnke (Greens-EFA/Sweden)
  • MEP Alviina Alametsä (Greens-EFA/Finland)
  • MEP Anne-Sophie Pelletier (GUE-NGL/France)
  • MEP Antonio Maria Rinaldi (ID/Italy)
  • MEP Biljana Borzan (S&D/Croatia)
  • MEP Brando Benifei (S&D/Italy)
  • MEP Chiara Gemma (Movimento 5 Stelle/Italy)
  • MEP Chrysoula Zacharopoulou (Renew/France)
  • MEP Cristina Maestre Martín de Almagro (S&D/Spain)
  • MEP David Casa (EPP/Malta)
  • MEP Dennis Radtke (EPP/Germany)
  • MEP Dimitrios Papadimoulis  (GUE/NGL / Greece)
  • MEP Dragos Pîslaru (Renew/Romania)
  • MEP Elena Lizzi (ID/Italy)
  • MEP Elisabetta Gualmini (S&D/Italy)
  • MEP Ernest Urtasun (Greens-EFA/Spain)
  • MEP Estrella Dura Ferrandis (S&D/Spain)
  • MEP Francisco Guerreiro (Greens/Portugal)
  • MEP Gianantonio Da Re (ID/Italy)
  • MEP Giorgos Georgiou (GUE-NGL/ Cyprus)
  • MEP Grace O'Sullivan (Greens-EFA/Ireland)
  • MEP Isabel Carvalhais (S&D/Portugal)
  • MEP Jordi Cañas (Renew/Spain)
  • MEP José Gusmão (GUE-NGL/Portugal)
  • MEP Josianne Cutajar (S&D/Malta)
  • MEP Karlo Ressler (EPP/Croatia)
  • MEP Katrin Langensiepen (Greens-EFA/Germany)
  • MEP Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová (ECR/Slovakia)
  • MEP Maite Pagazaurtundúa (Renew/ Spain)
  • MEP Manuel Pizarro (S&D/Portugal)
  • MEP Maria Matias (GUE-NGL/Portugal)
  • MEP Marie Toussaint (Greens-EFA/ France)
  • MEP Monica Silvana Gonzalez (S&D/Spain)
  • MEP Mounir Satouri (Greens-EFA/ France)
  • MEP Nils Torvalds (Renew/Finnish)
  • MEP Pascal Durand (Renew/France)
  • MEP Radan Kanev (EPP/Bulgaria)
  • MEP Radka Maxová (Renew/Czechia)
  • MEP Romana Tomc (EPP/Slovenia)
  • MEP Salima Yenbou (Greens-EFA/ France)
  • MEP Sandra Pereira (GUE-NGL/Portugal)
  • MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP/Finland)
  • MEP Sylwia Spurek (S&D/Poland)
  • MEP Tilly Metz (Greens-EFA/Luxembourg)
  • MEP Ville Niinistö (Greens-EFA/Finland)